The Hurricanes have only faced one Power 5 opponent this season, beating Georgia Tech 35–21 on Saturday. Ahead of their home game against Florida State this weekend, kicker Michael Badgley (who is 2 for 4 on field goals and 26 for 26 on extra points this season) talked with Campus Rush about his season, his future in sports broadcasting and more.
Campus Rush: Big game this weekend. Last year, quarterback Brad Kaaya said you told him you predicted you were going to beat Nebraska at some point on a field goal. So any big predictions for this week against Florida State?
Michael Badgley: No predictions this year. (Laughs.) Whenever your name is called, you've got to just do your job.
CR: Who is going to be the X-factor this weekend?
MB: I'm gonna have to go with my roommate and good buddy Brad Kaaya. I think he's going to throw for 500 yards and six touchdowns.
CR: Last year against Nebraska you went 5 for 5 on field goals. Was that the hardest you've ever had to work in a game? Sometimes the specialists are just chilling on the sideline.
MB: (Laughs.) I had five in that game and then five against Pitt at the end of the season. Definitely the most action I've got. This year I'm doing kickoffs, too, and every game is a lot of fun. I wouldn't say we're just chilling. We're focused in on the game. We're aware of every play that's going on, and if my number gets called for a field goal or Justin gets called for a punt, we're ready to go. But we're definitely not running around as much as receivers or anything.
CR: What is your single favorite thing about college football?
MB: I'd say the opportunity for anything to happen. The opportunity for someone no one really knows to make a play. The opportunity to beat a No. 1 ranked team. The opportunity to win a national championship. That's what makes the game awesome, whether you're a two-star or a five-star.
CR: What's the biggest program change with Miami alum Mark Richt now running the show?
MB: Coach Richt's style is obviously different than anyone else's in college football. How genuine of a guy he is and how cool he is. He comes in and preaches hard work . . . The culture change is that every game is a business trip now.
CR: Miami is one of the most storied programs in college football history—what did you know about The U growing up?
MB: I'm a big Giants fan and there have been a lot of Giants who came from Miami. So I knew about those big-time players, the first-rounders. Of course everyone knows the history: the five national championships, the Heisman winners, all those crazy athletes. And then the rivalry with Florida State, it's like the Yankees-Red Sox. They were always on ESPN when I watched as a little kid. Being a Jersey guy and coming down here, it's been awesome.
CR: You played at Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy before coming to Miami. That place is really strict. What was the toughest part about going to school there?
MB: I think the biggest thing, going to FUMA, was the culture difference. From a public school to a military-style private school was different. The amount of rules they had . . . wow. But I always say, it was a blessing in disguise. Going there has been one of the greatest things that's ever happened to me. I'd never change going there.
CR: I saw in your bio that your brother and sister are both lacrosse players—how did you wind up playing football? Do you play lacrosse when you're home with them?
MB: I actually played three sports in high school: football, hockey and lacrosse. In my town, Summit, N.J., lacrosse is a big sport. Nationally we've been ranked pretty high. I always thought I was going to go college and play lacrosse, too, until my high school [football] coach he said, "Mike, you're pretty good at this kicking thing. I think you could play Division I football." And it kinda took off from there, and now I'm here.
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CR: So you're from Summit, N.J., and go by the nickname Jersey Mike . . . Obviously you're proud of being from that state. I wondered if the New Jersey inferiority complex is a real thing?
MB: (Laughs.) I don't know. I love being from Jersey. I'm a big Bruce Springsteen fan.
CR: What's the best thing about New Jersey? What do people not know about it or undersell about it?
MB: The four seasons. You get the fall and you're getting ready for football; winter rolls around and you're getting ready for hockey; once the winter ends you've got spring and it's lacrosse season. Then, in the summer time, it's the greatest summer atmosphere I've ever been in. The whole feel, when you talk about those Jersey nights . . . it's hard to explain, but if you listen to a couple Bruce songs, you'll know what I mean.
CR: If you could be a star in any Olympic sport, what would you pick and why?
MB: Decathlon or beach volleyball, solely because I think those are the two most athletic sports.
CR: I heard you want to go into sports radio when you're done with football—do you have someone you'd like to model your career after? You know, as a Bruce fan, you're already halfway to being a sports media member.
MB: Yeah, I've always had a passion. I like when I play video games and hear guys say all those different phrases. You grow up with Chris Berman every Monday morning with a two-minute drill for football season. Michael Kay for the Yankees and Dock Emrick for the Devils, I've always been interested in doing that stuff and being around sports.
CR: Who is your favorite Giants player, and why do you love him so much?
MB: Oooh, that's a tough one. I'm gonna have to go with Lawrence Taylor. He is the greatest NFL player of all time on any side of the ball, and I'll say that until the day I die.
CR: As a rabid NFL fan, what are your thoughts on Deflategate? Who is your pick to win the Super Bowl?
MB: Oh, here we go. With Deflategate, I think it's kinda dumb that it got carried over. I enjoy watching Tom Brady so having him out of the NFL wasn't fun, and I didn't think it was very fair. It was a situation where it shouldn't have been looked into so much. This year, winning the Super Bowl, I'm gonna have to go with my New York Football Giants. I can't ever go against them, and I think they're going to turn around from this 2–2 start and pull out 12 more wins.
CR: It's officially Halloween month so what's the best Halloween costume you've ever seen?
MB: I saw my long snapper, Frank Gabriel, as Batman one time. (Laughs) I thought that was pretty great. I think it was a little kid's costume.